This story was collected as part of a collaborative effort to record the state of American lakes, rivers, and waterways as well an attempt to uncover what water means to Americans. Listen to other stories recorded for the Be Here: Main Street project, a collaboration with the MuseWeb Foundation to record stories from rural America.
“Hi, I'm Gayle Dretch and I live in Frazee, Minnesota. I actually grew up about 20 miles from here near another small community where I went to high school. Grew up in the country. My grandparents farmed and always had ample opportunity to be outside in the woods, spending time with animals, family coming together for all sorts of outdoor activities. Since I've been here on the farm, Mike and I have done a lot to bring the farm back to its natural state. We don't have the cattle anymore. Not that we wouldn't consider having a couple head one day just for our own use, but I really enjoy being able to have my grandkids here, experiencing the woods and the nature, and the wildlife.
Each year, actually it's been five years, we had our fifth annual kids ball party we call it. It's an invite party, which ironically we've gotten several requests from other people wanting to come to this party. It's actually blossomed into quite an event. We get the kids out into the woods. We take them around on a hayride. We do yard games. They ride horses while they're here. Their favorite thing is actually to be near the water and to be in the woods. We just basically have to drag them out to get them back into the house and the cars to go home. All the things that we've done here, all the trees we've planted, and just groomed this place to become a really beautiful natural area has just been really fun for us.”
Asset ID #3897